My mom taught me a lot about parenting. I just didn’t realize the value until I was a parent myself. My mom never wanted to be my best friend nor my closest confidant. She never tried to win a popularity contest and honestly, she did not give a flip if we agreed with her on any matter of house rules.
She wanted to be our MOM.
I followed suit. I wanted to be a mom, to teach, love and nurture. Kids have a hundred friends, but they only have one mom. A mom has a depth of love and support that is difficult for a child to understand, but it is irreplaceable in a child’s life.
I clearly recall the day our 5-year-old (YELLOW) son Mark brought the garden hose in the house to wash off the crayon marks he had artistically drawn on our wonderful new entryway tile. I was upstairs (I am certain I was slaving over laundry or something domestic) and heard water running. To this day, I remember what hearing that eerie sound felt like in the pit of my stomach.
I ran downstairs and saw gallons of water gushing into the dining room. Like a crazy woman, I flew past my son and out the front door to shut off the faucet. At this moment in his life, he COULD have used a friend, but instead he got me–his mom.
I surprised myself at my self-control. He was terrified and soaking wet.
Yes, there was a consequence for coloring on the tile floor; he knew exactly where he could and could not color in our home. I could not punish him, however, for the damage done by the water. Unfortunately, we did not have a rule for bringing the garden hose inside and watering the house to clean up a mess.
At that moment, he did not realize the protection he had because I was his mom. He suffered consequences fitting the coloring offense (and for the moment you would have thought I was ruining his life forever). However, he never colored on the tile floor again–or brought the hose into the house–because, it became a new rule.
Just think, if I had been a friend and he had done hundreds of dollars in damage to my home, the outcome would have been much different. I assure you. A friend would not have spent the next 10 hours of her day vacuuming water from her carpet and scrubbing tiles while the culprit went on with life playing trucks with his sister in the backyard.
Kids will soon learn that friends are not capable of such unselfish love and devotion 24/7. Moms are.
“Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.” (The Message, Prov. 13:1)